Civil servants and factory workers will be required to wear helmets when riding their motorbikes to work under a government plan to stem traffic fatalities.
The deputy commissioner of the National Police told Khmer Times yesterday that the internal rules were announced internally last month.
Lieutenant General Him Yan reiterated the government’s commitment to reducing traffic accidents, adding that the latest initiative encourages public and private companies to help protect employees on the roads.
“We’ve set it as an internal rule for officials in state departments, workers at factories and staff at other participating institutes who ride a motorcycle to work,” Lt. Gen. Yan said.
“People have to respect the internal rules and orders of their respective employers. We have to do this in addition to existing traffic laws, to protect the public and reduce accidents,” he added.
He said the new rules, which were announced to staff last month, will be enforced by police inspecting those entering and exiting company grounds.
“We’ve also ordered all police officials who ride motorcycles to wear helmets. So all of us including the police, government and private firms will be making sure their employees wear helmets,” he said.
Cheav Bunrith, the director of the National Social Security Fund’s policy division, said he encouraged factory owners during a meeting late last month to incentivize those who donned a helmet when traveling to and from work.
“If a factory worker wears a helmet they will not have to pay to use their company’s parking lot, but if they don’t wear a helmet they will be charged 500 riel,” he said.
Bosch Southeast Asia’s president Martin Hayes yesterday called on governments in the region to improve the adoption of vehicular safety systems, particularly for two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles, which dominate the region.
“It is the governments that play a crucial role in the adoption of safety systems. Legislative measures to mandate safety features have been introduced in nearly all developed and many developing countries all over the world,” Mr. Hayes said.
He added that to date, safety features like motorcycle antilock braking systems and electronic stability programs are not mandatory in Asean nations, a recommendation he suggested governments consider to reduce traffic fatalities.
Bosch’s corporate communications manager Sokleng Chher added that driver behavior in Cambodia was also a leading cause of accidents because many choose to disregard traffic laws, followed by poor law enforcement.
According to the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, Cambodia had the fifth highest number of fatal road accidents in Asean after Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar, with a 17.4 fatality rate per 100,000 of the population.
The National Road Safety Committee said traffic accidents fell by 11 percent in 2016 with 3,700 cases which resulted in 1,717 deaths and 6,607 injuries.
Most of the cases occurred in Phnom Penh, which saw 388 accidents. Preah Sihanouk province had 287 accidents and Kampot province had 238.